A richly caramelized crust, juicy and flavorful interior, and a sauce so irresistible you’ll be tempted to eat it right out of the skillet. Take note, while the cooking portion is a mere 15 minutes or so, the seasoned poultry needs to be refrigerated uncovered for two hours, then sit at room temperature for another 30 minutes.
Why season and chill this chicken before cooking? That chilling time allows salt to penetrate the chicken and as the muscle fibers break down, it helps the meat reabsorb the juices. And no one enjoys a dried out piece of chicken!
Instead of just serving with plain steamed rice, we upped our game and made rice pilaf which also included a chipotle chile pepper. The other companion side served was glazed carrots.
Chipotle Chicken Breasts
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- ¾ cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 3 Tbsp. lime juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Place on a plate. Chill, uncovered, for 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let stand 30 minutes.
- Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. To check when hot enough, add a large drop of water (1/8 teaspoon) to the skillet. When it rolls around the pan like a bead of mercury it is ready. This will take 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat; add oil. Swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Return to medium-high heat. Add chicken (don’t crowd the pan). Cook for 5 minutes or until a crust forms (be patient; the chicken will release when it’s ready to be turned). Turn and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more—or until chicken is done at 165°F. Adjust heat as necessary.
- Remove chicken from skillet to a plate; cover loosely. Remove skillet from heat. Carefully add broth, lime juice, and garlic to skillet (mixture will spatter). Return to heat. Bring to boiling, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Boil gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until reduced by about half. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in butter, chipotle, and any juices from the chicken.
- Spoon sauce over chicken to serve. Sprinkle with cilantro.
Recipe by Colleen Weeden for Better Homes & Gardens
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